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Rays 7, Athletics 5: Let’s go bullpenning!

The lead was traded as often as pitchers were.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s hope no one here invented a drinking game that involves doing a shot whenever a pitching change gets made.

Both the Rays and the A’s went with a bullpen game today, making this arguably the most pitcher-heavy game of the entire season. In all of baseball. Maybe ever. (Don’t quote me on that, I’m making this up as I go)

The only pitcher of the game for either team to go more than three innings was Yonny Chirinos, who lasted 5.1 and unfortunately gave up the bulk of the runs for the Rays, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking one. He didn’t look particularly bad, it was just one of those nights where the slip ups came back to bite him.

The Rays got the scoring started early thanks to a two-run blast from Brandon Lowe (rhymes with wow!) in the second, that scored him and Kiermaier.

The A’s scored a run in the third on a Lowrie single, and then they tied things up in the sixth on an Olson home run.

The lead went back to the Rays in the bottom of the sixth with a sweet Kevin Kiermaier triple, followed by a Bauers sac fly that juuuuuuuust scored Kiermaier. All the while Willy Adames, on his off-day, was waiting atop the dugout steps excitedly ready to hand out high fives. I love this team.

A pinch-pinch hitting Mark Canha hit a bounce-out double to score Semien, and then a Ciuffo passed ball allowed Canha to score himself, tying things up again for the A’s.

Old friend Fernando Rodney came on for the A’s in the seventh, thus reminding me that Fernando Rodney now plays for the A’s.

Vidal Nuno came on in the eighth and things didn’t go well. He quickly loaded the bases with only a single out on the inning. He was able to get a strikeout, and with one more out needed, another pitching change was due. A ground ball out off new pitcher Kittredge ended the inning with no further damage.

Bob Melvin took umbrage with the strikeout from Nuno to Semien and was so furious he ended up getting tossed from the game. Byeeee.

The A’s had a passed ball of their own in the bottom of the eighth to advance Wendle to second, putting him in scoring position with no one out. A walk to Lowe put two men aboard (thanks Familia), and the Rays were suddenly in a position to get ahead again.

AND.

THEY.

GOT.

IT.

A three-run blast from Bauers gave the Rays a 7-3 lead. BAM. Willy Adames would NOT STOP HUGGING HIM. Extreme same, Willy.

Down to their final three outs, the Rays turned to Romo, who had an extremely sexy strikeout, but then gave up a home run to Chapman. The A’s weren’t able to catch up again, though, and the Rays won it 7-5.

14 total pitchers were used.